How to play the SDL bond opportunity?
It’s not an easy life for fixed income investors looking to earn decent yields today. With RBI regularly mopping up government securities through its G-SAP programme and also reining in yields on new issues, the 10-year government security has been caught in a range of 5.8 to 6.3 per cent for the last one year, despite elevated inflation.
How to play the SDL bond opportunity?
The balanced advantage category (called the balanced advantage/dynamic asset allocation category or BA/DAA) has received a lot of attention, after a whopping collection of Rs 12,000 crore by SBI Balanced Advantage during its recent NFO. This category is mostly seen as one that delivers equity returns with less risk or one that can be used as an income generation option – neither of which are quite right. In this report we get into detail about one of our already recommended funds in this space, while also explaining when and how to use a fund in this category.
Mirae Asset S&P 500 Top 50 ETF and FOF is a new NFO to hit the market, as part of this passive pipeline that will invest in the ETF. Does this index make for a good portfolio addition?
At PrimeInvestor, we did not add any debt fund in the credit risk space when we started out in 2020. And even when a fund we recommended held partial credit risk, we made sure we classified them as high risk-long term. We did not pick any fund from the credit risk category as funds were busy segregating their bad assets.
We are living in strange times. No, I am not talking of Covid-19. Your one-year returns of equity funds (across categories), at an average 31% between January to March 22, 2021, zoomed to an average 69% since March 23, 2021. In other words, 1-year returns suddenly doubled from March 23, 2021. If you recall, March 23 2020 was a market low. So, 1-year returns from March 23, 2021, have started looking abnormally high.
With interest rates being where they are – i.e., stable with no clear signs of a move upwards or downwards – you would wonder where you could hold investments meant for a 2-3 year timeframe. And many of you also wonder if the best option you have is to go for floating rate debt funds as they would have an edge over other debt fund categories.
There’s another index that gives mid and small-cap funds a good run for their money while housing far bigger names. This is a high return index if highly volatile one, and can be used in long-term portfolios to give returns a boost.
For those of you spooked by the continuing volatility in debt funds, our earlier article would have explained why these ups and downs prevail now. If you have money to be deployed or profits booked out of equities and waiting in the sidelines, you may hesitate to deploy it in this debt market condition.
To speak the truth, there are no categories other than overnight and liquid that are spared from the current volatility. However, if one looks at it on a relative basis, select funds from ultra-short, low duration and money market have held on, notwithstanding the see-saw.
Two events have set the stage for a rise in yields, whether the RBI pauses or hikes rates. One, a few weeks ago, the RBI closed the tap that pumped liquidity into the system. That meant no more excess supply of money. This caused an immediate rise in short-term yields, causing mark-to-market losses in some funds over a week or two. In just 2 months, the 3-month government bond moved from 2.9% in December beginning to 3.36% now. This is a sharp move for a shorter tenure bond.
Two, Budget 2021 has decided to retain its market borrowing at Rs 12 lakh crore, same as the pandemic-hit year. It has also provided many novel measures to tap the debt market for infrastructure financing. The 10-year gilt yields climbed sharply as the budget was announced.
Can a low-risk debt fund with an average duration of around just 1.2 years deliver an average 3-year return (rolling 3 year returns since inception
When you have a holding period that is less than 3 years, your options are limited. Because this short period gives very little room for risk, pure equity is out of the question. But in debt funds, though returns may be reasonable, taxation for a less than 3-year period cuts into return. Equity savings funds fit this gap.
Nippon India ETF Nifty CPSE Bond Plus SDL- 2024 Maturity is yet another unique target-maturity debt ETF like Bharat Bond. Is this a good time to invest in it?